Today was the first day of PARCC testing for my sixth graders. My team and I were e-mailing each other if we had questions. One of our concerns was,”Which button do we have to press at the end of the session? Log Out or Submit?” In the end, it was clear as day which button the students had to hit! The moral of the story is we spent so much time anticipating a problem that did not even exist. How many times to we create obstacles along our path that, in reality, are just illusions? Instead of worrying about how you will accomplish your goals, here are three steps to accomplishing your goals while maintaining inner peace.
Step One: Admit You are Trying to Control Everything.
Admitting your flaws is the first step to healing them! I am always eager to accomplish goals and experience the next big thing: a new house, advancement in my career, and another degree… There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but obsessing over them causes fabricated stress.
It is not every day that we can harvest the fruits of our labor. Of course those moments are rewarding: when we finally close on that house, earn that degree, get engaged, or land that dream job. The reality is that most days we are sowing the seeds of our dreams and working towards them. It is not always glamorous, and there are usually many unknown and unpredictable factors. This is what causes us to feel frazzled and why we try to control the process. We allow fears and doubts to overcome us, but many times these are just illusions. The goal is to have a more positive focus when stepping in the direction of our dreams.
Step Two: Let Go and Pay Attention
Instead of controlling the pathway your dreams step-by-step, try to be open to a creative solution or alternative version of your dream. Dr. Wayne Dyer always said, “pay attention.” Simply pay attention to the clues around you and you will be guided to your dreams or something better! This is a practical way of “actively letting go.” So even though you are “letting go,” your are still “doing” something.
Here is how this paradox works. After you set your intentions of what you want for yourself, go about your regular day-to-day activities. Be aware of your surroundings and live in the present moment; you will be guided in the right direction. Maybe you will see a “For Sale” sign that you never noticed before, or you will have a conversation with someone random that leads you to a connection that you need. You never know how things will work out, but if you pay attention to the signs, you’ll be guided step by step. It sort of turns into a game, and it can actually be fun watching your dreams unfold in creative ways. Helpful people and opportunities are all around you, all you have to do is keep an open heart and mind.
Step Three: Take Small Action Steps
Take a little step every single day in the direction of your dreams and watch those seeds you have planted grow. One of my goals is to become a published author, but that will only happen if I…um…write! It took everything I had this evening to walk away from the clean pile of unfolded laundry that is overtaking my bed. After spending nearly two hours of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen and putting our toddler to bed, I could have easily kept on going with what “has to be done.” But I had an ah-ha moment today that made me realize that if I don’t start doing what I love TODAY, then I am going to miss out on what is really important in life.
If you want to start a side business, walk away from the TV and start working on your web site or blog. Maybe your goal is to look and feel better about yourself. Instead of vacuuming, take the extra time to pre-cut veggies for a healthy snack or steal those 15 minutes to do a workout on YouTube. There will always be more dishes and laundry. You need to take time for yourself and step into the direction of your dreams. After 10 minutes you can go back to that pile of laundry on your bed and start folding…
I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Jack Canfield, “You are not given a dream unless you have the capacity to fulfill it.” I believe that we are each given specific desires in life because it is part of our mission and dharma here on this Earth. Follow your heart. You would not be given a dream unless you had the ability to accomplish it, and you might as well have fun while you are doing it! I hope you follow the signs that bring you closer to your personal success and enjoy the ride!
Until next time, namaste!